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Hamlin Rebounds to Finish Fifth at Richmond

April 14, 2019

Denny Hamlin overcame a pre-race penalty and a difficult-handling car Saturday night at Richmond Raceway to earn his fourth straight top-five finish.

Hamlin started the race in 30th after his 18th-place qualifying position was disallowed due to pre-race inspection infractions. But once the green flag flew, he went to work in the #11 FedEx Ground Toyota and never looked back.

Despite having a tight-handling car, he gradually climbed his way through the field thanks to solid adjustments ordered by crew chief Chris Gabehart and a fast-working pit crew. He finished Stage 1 in 20th and Stage 2 in 14th. The FedEx Camry was handling its best in Stage 3, when Hamlin eventually climbed into the top five. He finished the race in fifth for his sixth top-five result of the season.

“We had our work cut out for us tonight,” Hamlin said. “We started in the back, and our car was tough to handle in traffic. But we made our FedEx Toyota better as the night went on, and our pit crew brought their A-game and gained us some extra spots on pit road. It was a great comeback for our entire team.”

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series has a weekend off for the Easter holiday and then heads to Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday, April 28.